Ticket to Ride Expansions Ranked and Recommended
Ticket to Ride has been out a while now and it is a fantastic gateway game. It is a great game that you can pull out and play with non gamers when the need arises. It is easy to learn and fun to play.
If you are looking for a game that you can enjoy with family and friends. Then this one is a great choice. As you race to claim your routes and gain more victory points than your opponents. Will you get the longest route or will you be pipped to the post?
I will explain which base games you need and which are expansions or variations. This article explains everything you need to know about Ticket to Ride expansions. I will also rank them and make my recommendations at the end. You will need either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe to be able to use any of the expansions.
If you don’t own these yet then you will need to buy one of them to get an expansion. Don’t worry, we have you covered and can recommend the best one for you. Take a look at the table below.
If you want to see some more information about Ticket to Ride Europe the you can read my Ticket to Ride Europe review that will give you all the details.
First up let’s have a look at the Ticket to Ride games that have been released and see what there are.
Table of Contents
- Ticket to Ride Base Games
- Ticket to Ride Standalone Games
- Ticket to Ride Expansions
- Ticket to Ride City Games
What Types of Ticket to Ride Expansions are There?
The original Ticket to Ride was released in 2004 and was a huge success. It was based in North America. The following year Days of Wonder released Ticket to Ride Europe that had a different board covering Europe along with some new rule variations that made the game a little more interesting.
Following on from that in 2006 was the first release of an expansion with Ticket to Ride USA 1910. This was effectively additional cards and therefore required either Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe to play.
Since then there have been 19 further releases of standalone games or expansions. However, this can be a little confusing and if you are not careful will end up buying an expansion that requires a base game. See the table below to easily identify which are base games and require a base game to play.
|Ticket to Ride||2004||2-5||||30-60||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride Europe||2005||2-5||||30-60||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride USA 1910||2006||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride, cards only included|
|Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries||2007||2-3||||30-60||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride Europa 1912||2009||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride Europe, cards only included|
|Ticket to Ride Asia||2011||4-6||2-5||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride India + Switzerland||2011||2-4||2-3||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride – The Heart of Africa||2012||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride Nederland||2013||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride United Kingdom||2015||2-4||2-5||30-75||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride Orient Express||2015||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails||2016||2-5||||90-120||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride First Journey||2016||2-5||||15-30||Y||Age: 6+|
|Ticket to Ride Germany||2017||2-5||||30-60||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride First Journey Europe||2017||2-4||||15-30||Y||Age: 6+|
|Ticket to Ride France||2017||2-5||2-6||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride New York||2018||2-4||||10-15||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride London||2019||2-4||||10-15||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride Japan||2019||2-5||||30-60||N||Requires Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe|
|Ticket to Ride Amsterdam||2020||2-4||||10-15||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride 15th Anniversary||2021||2-5||||30-60||Y|||
|Ticket to Ride Europe 15th Anniversary||2021||2-5||||30-60||Y|||
I have categorized the games into 3 as follows:
- Expansions Requiring a Standalone Game
- City Games
Ticket to Ride Base Games
There are two base games that will enable you to buy expansions and play them. The two versions that are considered base games are:
- Ticket to Ride
- Ticket to Ride Europe
You will need either of these to be able to buy and use an expansion. Obviously the 15th Anniversary editions of these games will be fine too.
Ticket to Ride Standalone Games
In order to play Ticket to Ride you will need to buy a standalone game first. I am not counting the city games in with the standalones as they are effectively a different variation of the game. Each of the city games can be purchased as a standalone.
There are 5 adult standalone games plus 2 anniversary versions and 2 childrens games called First Journey.
|Ticket to Ride||2004||2-5||30-60|
|Ticket to Ride Europe||2005||2-5||30-60|
|Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries||2007||2-3||30-60|
|Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails||2016||2-5||90-120|
|Ticket to Ride Germany||2017||2-5||30-60|
Each of these games can be played as standalone. You will need Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe to be able to use expansions. You will also notice that Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails has a massive playtime jump of 90-120 minutes.
Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails is a much bigger game that introduces ports and ships to Ticket to Ride. You get a two sided board with the US Great Lakes on one side and the entire world on the other. The worldwide map will take the longest to play.
In the normal standalone versions you get 45 trains per player and these are required to be used in expansions. However, in Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails your pieces are divided into trains and ships. You only get 25 colored trains per player.
This unfortunately means that you cannot buy an expansion and use it with Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails. If you buy this game then you will still need to purchase another standalone game to access the expansions.
Saying all that, Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails is a good option. Many of the expansions, with a few exceptions that we will come onto later, are pretty much just new maps with slight variations to the base game. So, if you are not too interested in expansions then this would be a good choice as it has some nice mechanics that increase the tension and make the game harder.
My recommendation for a standalone purchase as a base game would be Ticket to Ride Europe. This is a great map with added mechanics for ferries, tunnels and stations which add to the complexity. It makes Ticket to Ride just that little bit more fun.
|Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary||2014||2-5||30-60|
|Ticket to Ride Europe 15th Anniversary||2021||2-5||30-60|
The 15th Anniversary editions are oversized and come with extras like metal tins to hold the trains in. The train pieces themselves are very nicely detailed along with all new artwork. They will work with any of the expansions mentioned in this article.
|Ticket to Ride First Journey||2016||6+||2-4||15-30|
|Ticket to Ride First Journey Europe||2017||6+||2-4||15-30|
Days of Wonder has released two kids versions of the game with Ticket to Ride First Journey and Ticket to Ride First Journey Europe. These are simplified and perfect for kids from 6+. I bought Ticket to Ride First Journey for my daughter who is 5 and we just love playing it. When I can get her to sit still that is!
The game is perfect for introducing your kids to a little more than just snakes and ladders or Eye Found It.
Neither of the Ticket to Ride First Journey games are designed to work with the expansions for obvious reasons.
Ticket to Ride Expansions
Okay, so we know what you need to be able to play the expansions. Now let’s get into the expansions themselves and which ones I recommend. Here is a list of the expansions ranked:
|Rank||Title||Players||2nd map||New Mechanics||TTR||TTR Europe|
|1||Ticket to Ride USA 1910||2-5||||No|
|2||Ticket to Ride United Kingdom||2-4||2-5||Yes|
|3||Ticket to Ride Japan||2-5||||Yes|
|4||Ticket to Ride India + Switzerland||2-4||2-3||Yes|
|5||Ticket to Ride Asia||4-6||2-5||Yes|
|6||Ticket to Ride Europa 1912||2-5||||No|
|7||Ticket to Ride France||2-5||2-6||Yes|
|8||Ticket to Ride – The Heart of Africa||2-5||||Yes|
|9||Ticket to Ride Nederland||2-5||||Yes|
|10||Ticket to Ride Orient Express||2-5||||No|
You can see that some of the expansions provide new mechanics. I have classified this as anything that is different from the original Ticket to Ride game. Expansions like Ticket to Ride United Kingdom and Ticket to Ride India use some of the mechanics found in Ticket to Ride Europe.
Ticket to Ride USA 1910 or Ticket to Ride Europa 1912 is a good first expansion and ones I would recommend. If you are looking for new maps then I recommend Ticket to Ride United Kingdom. This gives you two new maps and some new mechanics in the Technology Cards.
If you often play with 2-3 players or 4-6 then here are my recommendations for expansions that will perfectly fit your needs.
2-3 Player Recommendation
Most of these expansions say 2-4 players but Ticket to Ride isn’t at its best with 2. The board is so large that you will struggle to have any impact on your opponents with that number.
So, if you often play with 2 or 3 players then Ticket to Ride India and Switzerland is a must. It gives you a great new map in India with some new mechanics introducing circular routes.
However, the Switzerland map is much smaller and is designed for 2-3 players. Playing this map is hugely fun and way more competitive with that number. You’ll find you’ll be able to thwart your opponent more easily and also be thwarted yourself. It has the Tunnels mechanic in it from Ticket to Ride Europe which is nice. My recommendation for 2-3 players is Ticket to Ride India.
4-6 Player Recommendation
Ticket to Ride France
Ticket to Ride France map is for 2-5 players and brings in the Track Laying mechanic. Which means you have to build the track before you can place your trains on it and claim the route.
The track laying mechanic means that at every player’s turn they get to lay a piece of track down on the board. This is quite interesting as if you are not careful you could reveal to your opponents where you want to build a route. Leaving them with the opportunity to lay their trains first.
The other aspects of this mechanic is that you get to choose which color track you lay. Which means you can be quite strategic about that.
When tracks are laid they do cross over other potential tracks too. This effectively blocks that track from ever being laid. Another point where you can block your opponents’ plans. This is a nicely thought out expansion.
Along with the France map you also get the Old West map. It comes with the components to enable you to play with a 6th player. You also get some cities as a new mechanic. The cities are laid in reverse order from whoever is starting.
Once the cities are laid each player must lay their first train and claim their first route from their start city. This city becomes the effective head office and all your claimed routes must connect back to the starting city.
You cannot claim a route if it does not connect to your existing network. You can lay more cities out on the board. Doing this will mean that when any other player claims a route that connects to your city you get their points. If they have a city at the other end then they score points too.
If someone claims a route between two cities they own then they get double points.
This mechanic really changes the way Ticket to Ride plays. You cannot claim routes on the other side of the board or that are disconnected from your network. Which means you need to select your routes wisely.
Ticket to Ride Asia
Ticket to Ride Asia on the other hand brings two new maps both for Asia. The Legendary Asia map is designed as a normal Ticket to Ride game for 2-5 players.
If you claim a two space route with two trains then you must also discard two trains from your reserve. For the two discarded trains you only get 2 points each. This can limit your final score so that has to be taken into account when trying to get to places like Kathmandu.
The legendary map has the Ferries mechanic found in Ticket to Ride Europe. It also brings the mountainous route which is new. This is considered to be a dangerous route.
The other map is designed for team players. In this version you need 4 or 6 players teamed up into teams of 2. Each team has 54 trains split between each player. This makes 27 trains each.
Each team should sit together so that their turns are consecutive, one after the other. Each team also has two card holders. One for shared Train cards and one for shared Tickets. Teammates can chat but cannot share information with each other.
The team needs to work together by sharing destination and Ticket cards by placing them on the card holders. Each player still works towards their cards but now the other player knows what they are.
This is a really fun team game and brings a whole new dimension to playing Ticket to Ride. It really adds suspense as you try and work out what your teammate is doing along with the opponents.
Ticket to Ride City Games
Finally there are the city games. These are smaller and faster games to play. They are still designed by Alan R Moon and so follows the basic structure of Ticket to Ride. However, they do depart from trains.
For example the Ticket to Ride London has you creating routes between destinations such Hyde Park and the Tower of London. You then place buses instead of trains onto the spaces. In Ticket to Ride New York you connect routes like Chelsea and Lower East Side with Taxis. You get the idea.
Here are the current versions available:
|Ticket to Ride New York||2018||2-4||10-15|
|Ticket to Ride London||2019||2-4||10-15|
|Ticket to Ride Amsterdam||2020||2-4||10-15|
These games are fun and quick so could be good filler games at the beginning or end of a session. They are again useful for non gamers to play.
They are all 2-4 players and completely standalone from the other games. So you can pick the one that takes your interest. My recommendation is Ticket to Ride London but there is little between them.
That wraps things up as far as Ticket to Ride expansions. You have all the expansions ranked and my recommendations on which ones to buy.
I recommend buying Ticket to Ride Europe as your base game but only because it has the ferries and tunnels mechanics. If you already have Ticket to Ride I would not rush out and buy another base game. Either one gives you the opportunity to expand.
As far as expansions are concerned. The simple card expansions are a good place to start so Ticket to Ride USA 1910 or Ticket to Ride Europa 1912 depending on your base game.
If you want more maps then Ticket to Ride United Kingdom is a great expansion. It will give you a change of scenery plus some new mechanics to increase your enjoyment. You will love Ticket to Ride United Kingdom.
If you want an epic game then Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails will give you that. With the added ports and ships you will have much more to play with.
The game is likely to take 2 hours to play and you will find this game is completely different from the other standalones. This is a more mature version of Ticket to Ride and this is probably not as accessible to non gamers as the other versions.
Finally you have the city games and Ticket to Ride First Journey. These are down to your preference. They are all standalone and so choosing which interests you (or your children) is the best choice.
I chose Ticket to Ride First Journey USA for my daughter because I thought she would enjoy that more. It also helps her to learn about the different city names around the US.
For the city game then I recommend Ticket to Ride London.
Ticket to Ride is one of the most popular gateway games out there and has sold millions of copies. Its flexibility and ease in which to learn makes it great for bringing out to play with new friends.
I hope you will enjoy expanding your game and having many more hours of fun with friends and family.